Mike McCarthy is not expected to receive any sort of extension from the Dallas Cowboys and will coach the 2024 season on an expiring contract, league sources told ESPN.
Ever since Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced this week that McCarthy would return in 2024, there have been questions about whether McCarthy’s contract could be adjusted in some way — even something as simple as having one more year tacked on.
The answer, simply enough, is no. Jones said he believes that a person in the last year of a contract is challenged in a different way, and it often can bring out the best in people — which he is banking on happening in 2024 with McCarthy.
Jones expected and asked the same of McCarthy’s predecessor, Jason Garrett, who twice coached into the final year of his contract.
The first time Garrett coached in the final year of his contract was in 2014, when he went 12-4 and landed five-year extension. The second time was in 2019, when he finished 8-8 and did not return to the Cowboys, who replaced him with McCarthy.
Three days after a disappointing wild-card loss to the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium, Jones made McCarthy’s return in 2024 official with a 260-word statement that lauded McCarthy’s regular-season winning percentage and his «demonstrated postseason success,» even if it came with the Packers.
The Cowboys are 67-42 in the regular season and have won two NFC East titles in the past three years, but are just 1-3 in the playoffs under McCarthy.
McCarthy said he is more motivated by legacy than money, and said the lack of an extension was not an issue to him. But the fact that he will be coaching in the final year of his deal will hang over McCarthy and the Cowboys, and will create unavoidable issues.
Some sources around the league say that McCarthy could have a more challenging time filling potential openings on his coaching staff since he will be in the last year of his deal. Others say that, during periods of adversity, McCarthy’s lack of an extension could hover over the team.
Some other sources question how the players will react to McCarthy’s contract status later in the year if the 2024 season is not going well.
The Cowboys’ Super Bowl drought has now stretched to 28 seasons, and although he acknowledged Wednesday that his team has «work to do,» McCarthy urged fans to «buy into us.»
«I came here to win a championship,» McCarthy said. «I didn’t come here to get another contract or anything other than that. I came to Dallas to win a world championship.»